Since the pandemic outbreak in early March, there has been this business recovery process that I have noticed happening with my clients and in the business world.
Step 1: Panic.
The first step was panic as everyone realized just how much the pandemic was shifting their personal lives and businesses; people had to take a hard look at their cash flow, and a lot of people were scared by what they discovered, which led to the survival step.
Step 2: Survival.
Small business owners were trying to figure out how they withstand this storm. A lot of you were faced with questions like, what services can I offer now? How do I get online offerings up quickly? How to communicate with customers and keep them engaged/entertained at home? How much cash do I have in the bank to weather this storm, how many months cash burn? In came some of the financial relief programs like the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Job retention scheme, CBILS, Business Rate Grants and others. Business owners applied for and received these funds to cope through the pandemics impact. This influx of cash has now allowed business owners to step into a phase of growth.
Step 3: Growth.
We are planning with our clients what they would like their future to look like and laying out a plan for how they can take advantage of the many opportunities that are arising. The newfound money can be invested in marketing and advertising to grow the business. Or the funds can be used for website optimization and search engine optimization so new clients and customers can find your business while your competitors aren’t investing. Consider the ways that your business service offerings have changed, and if you want to double down on those services or make them a staple in your business moving forward. For example, a lot of restaurant owners had to add takeaway services, which turned out to generate a large amount of income. Personal trainers and other fitness professionals found out that with the gym closed doing virtual workouts, videos, and introducing online membership options were money-making streams of income that allowed a continued connection with their clients. Even we learned that webinars we provided here out of the Ascott Blake offices were received very well by our clients and online community, and we plan to continue sharing our knowledge online in this way through a members-only client portal. So take stock of the changes that have been in your business to survive the pandemic and determine if there is a quick enough return on investment on potential investments with the bounce back loan. Cash flow is king after all, and not understanding the way the cash flows in your business can lead right back to the panic stage.
This is why having a commercial accountant on your team is even more important than hiring a business coach! Cash is the blood that keeps your business alive, and we take our clients through a profitability cycle to make sure their businesses are thriving. Stage one is Clarity, where we go through key performance indicators and output within your company and make sure we have clear, accurate and consistent. We will also define what are the key metrics linked to sales performance. Stage two is Cash Flow, where we analyse the best way to maximise the cash in the business, and also your goals for the business. Stage three is Scale, and this is the point where we talk about investment/M&A and ultimately selling or using your business as a cash cow.
Wherever you may find yourself in the business recovery steps doing business will no longer look the same post-pandemic. Check out our website and book a consultation with us today, and implement the plans to make your business thrive through the opportunities this pandemic has created.